Back in February of 2008 a consecrating officers jewel of 1899, for St John's Thanet Lodge No.2753 was spotted for auction on eBay. This information was passed to W.Bro Peter Smith, who has an e Bay account and a bid was tendered. After a few tense days the bid was successful and the purchase was completed and the Jewel came home to Thanet.
W.Bro Smith then wrote to the seller and asked from where he had obtained the jewel and was told that it had been bought from an auction house company called Lockdales of Ipswich. Making further inquires with the auction company W. Bro Smith learned that the jewel had been sold on behalf of an elderly gentleman who was selling a lifelong collection of Masonic memorabilia, but Lockdales could offer no further information.
Consecrating Jewels are presented by the lodge and only to the officiating officers concerned in the ceremony and are therefore very rare but W.Bro Jim Arnold, the lodge library and museum representative at that time, made inquires and managed to find out who had performed the ceremony of consecration but it is unknown as to whom this particular jewel was presented.
The Consecration meeting was held at the Masonic Temple on Friday June 23rd 1899.
The Consecrating Officers Were:
- Bro. Earl Amhurst, Pro Grand Master of England & Provincial Grand Master of Kent.
- Assisted by Bros:
- James Smith Eastes, P.G.D. Eng., Dep. P.G.M. Kent;
- William Dawes, acting Prov.S.G.W.
- Woldemar O. Kennett, Prov.J.G.W.
- Alfred Spencer, Prov.G.Sec. Charles W. Blaxland, Prov.G.Reg.
- Horatio Ward, Acting Prov.G.D.C.
Founders Jewel of 1899
Further information has come to light since the lodge acquired the consecrating officers jewel.
Following inquiries to the museum at Canterbury about a Past Masters jewel from 1965/66 that the Museum has on display, W.Bro Peter Smith, the Lodge library and museum representative, discovered that the museum also has a Founders jewel dated from 1899.
After more inquiries it transpired that it was identical to the consecration jewel in every way but the top bar is marked "Founder Jewel"
More inquires are under way and, as soon as information is available, it will be posted here.
The Lodge Crest
Since the Middle Ages John the Baptist is usually depicted wearing sheepskin, carrying a stick topped by a crucifix, a medallion with a lamb or accompanied by a white lamb.
At the centre of St John's Lodge crest is an image of a sheep with a halo, carrying a banner, a common representation of St. John the Baptist in art.
At the top of the crest is an eagle.
The date of the Consecration meeting of St Johns Thanet Lodge was also significant being held on Friday June 23rd 1899 as St.John the Baptist day is the 24th of June, a day with long associations with Freemasonry.